|Administrative History||Arthur Keith was born in Old Machar, Aberdeen, on 5 February 1866, the sixth of ten children. He graduated from Aberdeen University, MB, CM 1888, MD 1894, and was elected Rector there, 1930 - 1933. He was made a fellow of the Royal Society in 1913 and knight bachelor in 1921. He was joint lecturer on Anatomy at London Hospital Medical School, and later, museum conservator and Hunterian Professor, Royal College of Surgeons of England, 1908 - 1933, and Fullerian Professor of Physiology, Royal Institution, 1917 - 1923. |
Shortly after his graduation, he accompanied James Trail, Professor of Natural History in the University of Aberdeen, to Siam as Medical Officer on a mining concession, where he remained for two years, before returning to England on the grounds of ill health. Whilst there he developed and interest in botany and collected many specimens for the Director of the Botanical Gardens in Singapore to help with his compilation of the flora of the Malay peninsula. On his return to England he studied for his MD and FRCS, which he received within two years and for the lack of any suitable paid work, engaged himself in comparative research on the brains of humans and apes.
In 1906 he made the significant discovery with Flack, of the sino-articular node in the heart. However, from 1908 he devoted himself to evolutionary and anthropological problems and it is for this work that he is best remembered: his Hunterian lecture on 'The Remains of Fossil Man', participation in the famous Piltdown controversy and publication of 'The Antiquity of Man' (London: Williams and Norgate, 1915).
For further biographical details, including publications and membership of professional bodies see Who Was Who, 1951 - 1960 ; and obituary in Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 1955 , 1, 145-161.